AT 3pm on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa will stride to the centre stage in the National Assembly to do what state presidents have done since 1994, orally answer questions as the president of South Africa. His question and answer session, the first such occasion in his infant presidency, will be the undisputed highlight of the forthcoming week in Parliament.
As is the custom, Ramaphosa will field six questions, with one of the most pertinent ones coming from the leader of the official opposition, Mmusi Maimane. Latching on to one of the most contentious issues, which Ramaphosa first raised in his state of the nation address last month, Maimane has asked for the full details of the government’s plan to expropriate land without compensation.
Among the other questions Ramaphosa will have to answer is one from EFF leader Julius Malema who is looking for the total amount that the presidency spent on the legal costs of former president Jacob Zuma since his election as president in 2009.
Malema also wants to know on what legal grounds or policies the state relied on when using state resources to fund Zuma’s personal legal costs. Running the president close for the highlight of the Parliamentary week will be the scheduled appearances of former finance minister Malusi Gigaba, the Gupta brothers and former SAA board chairperson Dudu Myeni in front of Parliament’s Eskom inquiry tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning the standing committee on public accounts will get a briefing from the Hawks on its outstanding cases, while the afternoon will see the South African Social Security Agency and the South African Post Office give a progress report on the payment of social grants.
Also tomorrow, the standing sommittee on finance will hear from the South African Revenue Service about the inquiry into its chief officer for business and individual tax, Jonas Makwakwa.